It's not over quite yet. Here's a word or two of advice on coping with post-Christmas trading
The January sales will soon be upon us. Here's a few pointers from a veteran on how to cope with the post Christmas rush:
- The first day is key. Footfall on this day will probably outstrip any other 2 days put together so you need to get it right first time. Plan well and then check, check and recheck - you don't want to walk in on day 2 to find the killer lines have been stuck at the back of the shop beside the goods lift!
- ·Spend some time before Xmas rooting around in the stockrooms to make sure that nothing which should be in the sale is lurking undiscovered.
- ·Clearing old stock is great - but don't overlook the opportunity to promote and sell full price product - your P&L account will thank you later for every eye-catching, but red-ink free display. that you have. Less is more. Customers may be prepared to do 'anything to get to a bargain' but they shouldn't need to!
- ·Don't create an obstacle course; resist the temptation to pack in extra fixtures, keep walkways clear and don't skimp on informative signage and ticketing.
- ·Motivate your team. Retail is a hard task master - we work our socks off up to Christmas Eve and then walk straight into one of the busiest weeks of the year straight after a one or two day break. You need to show your staff they are appreciated and make sure they understand what is at stake.
- ·Don't overdo the mulled wine on Christmas day - anybody who has ever tried to negotiate the first day of sales with a hangover will know why.
- ·Make sure your customers know what you're up to - they've got a lot on their minds before Xmas so you're publicity for the sale has to be clear and well targeted.
- ·Don't be shy with the red pen. Carrying too high an inventory from one season to the next can cripple a business so a successful sale is critical - its cut your losses time. If in doubt; mark it down - and by at least 25% if not more!
- ·Make sure your security team are primed for action - thieves love sale time; the crowds and the busyness provide great cover for them to 'shop at 100% discount'.
- ·Enjoy - it may be messy, hectic and exhausting but it should also be fun!